Professional Jeweler Archive: Sitting Pretty

May 2005

The Store: Image

Sitting Pretty

Handy pockets safely file, organize and display loose gemstones

By Robert Weldon, G.G.

Gemstone envelopes – known as gem papers in the trade – have their share of problems. You can’t see the gemstone because it lies under wraps. Or while unwrapping, a loose gem can pop from the unfolding paper, sending everyone to their hands and knees in a desperate hunt for the missing gem.

Jeweler Bob Sirratt met with other jewelers in 1976 to discuss solutions to such problems. “We wanted to find a better, safer way to show unmounted gems to our customers.” Sirratt practiced switching an unmounted stone in a paper to further make his point. “You can get a gem to roll out, distract the jeweler and drop another one into the fold,” he explains. One jeweler declared he would buy anything that worked better than a paper. Sirratt and John Troy, another jeweler, went right to work on a new system to display and file loose gemstones.

They found a transparent plastic that maintained its form, was hard
to scratch and was flexible and durable. The developers included a card with a groove to hold the gem. The card could be labeled with the gem’s vital statistics. File-a-Gem® was born.

One Good Thing Leads to Another

Sirratt and Troy incorporated and a few years later, as exports of File-a-Gem trickled to locations around the world, Sirratt bought full share of the business.

As File-a-Gem use grew, it required a larger filing system. Sirratt developed a sales wallet, into which several gems could be tucked and displayed. Sirratt developed versions of File-a-Gem for big stones and little ones. These developments led to other designs engineered to make a jeweler’s handling of loose gems easier.

“In business, it is all about making a good impression,” Sirratt emphasizes. “Why not be safe and organized at the same time?

  • File-a-Gem, Baxter Springs, KS; (800) 247-4152,
File-a-Gem holds loose gems securely.

Copyright © 2005 by Bond Communications